BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse


The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison


Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman


Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field

by Henry William Fischer

Excerpt:

"And what did you answer?" asked Bram.

"None of your business! You are getting as fresh as a reporter," snapped Twain, with mock severity, while looking at me.

In the meanwhile I consulted my notebook. "It's sixteen years since the Kaiser—" I reopened the case—

♦London, June 24th or 25th, 1907, a few days after the famous Royal Garden Party at Windsor, where Mark had been lionized. Persons present, Mark Twain and secretary, Bram Stoker, and author.

"Oh, I have a notebook too. Wait a minute," interrupted Twain. He gave his secretary directions, and presently read from an old, much worn diary, sustaining my date-line as it were—

"... since this democratic lamb and tfie Imperial lion laid down together, a little General providing grub—"

"Sixteen years is a long time, and if the Kaiser imposed silence upon you then and there, the lid is certainly off now," I insisted. "Besides, at present, he's got Nietzsche on the brain."

"I don't care whether Annie Besant and William Jennings Bryan occupy lofts in his

Von Versen" (the General and Mark's relation) "not to talk about that jamboree, and the worms, if interested, will have to turn burglars and jimmy my brain cells, where memories of the banquet are stored, for I swear I'll leave no skeleton key."

"Pshaw! You are still sore because Willie wouldn't let you get in a word edgewise," said Stoker.

"Man alive!" cried Twain, "his talk was selling books for me. I was in rotten bad shape then financially, doing syndicate work for 'The Sun' and 'McClureY. Could I afford to say, 'Can your talk, Willie—like poverty, they have you with them always—but I am here for a short time only—my turn to stir up the animals."

upper story," said Twain.

We agreed that if an emperor climbs the dizzy heights of bookmongerdom he ought to have all the rope he wants.

"And did you like the British better than the Berlin brand of king?" was asked.

"They let me do a lot of talking at Windsor," evaded honest Mark. "I like these folks immensely. Ed is a manly fellow, despite his Hoboken accent—no wonder he fought with his ma, who wore the pants while Albert was alive, and tried to impose her German policies on her successor-to-be. Ed recalled an indigestion which we both entertained at Homburg, at the Elizabeth Spa there, which is more kinds of pure salt than Kissingen even. The blonde Fraulein who had sold us the liquid caviar advised walking it off, and as stomachache inclines to democracy the same as toothache, I didn't mind tramping with Ed, though I fancied that I would hear more about royal inner works than was decent for a minister's son."

"Did you tell the King any yarns?"

"Well, he referred to my giving out that interview about the news of my death being greatly exaggerated, and was pleased to call it funny. When I said that everybody more or less was given to overstatement, Ed commented, dryly, 'Especially my nephew of Germany.' So I told the story of the Russian Jew who claimed to have been chased by 47 wolves.

"'You probably were so frightened you saw double,' suggested the magistrate.

"'There were 12 at least,' insisted Isaac.

"'Won't half a dozen do?' t 'As I live, there were seven.'

"'Now tell the truth, Isaac. There was one wolf—one is enough to frighten a little Israelite like you.'

"Isaac, glad of saving one out of 47, nodded.

"'But maybe the creature wasn't a wolf at all!'

"'No wolf!' cried Isaac, 'what else could he be? Didn't he have four legs, and didn't he wag his tail?'


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